Paul Joseph Watson
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
In response to the national outcry surrounding invasive pat down measures, the TSA has been forced to refine its airport security procedures, but has simultaneously entrenched its policy that requires government permission for all Americans who wish to fly, creating what critics have labeled a Communist-style system of internal checkpoints.
After a public revolt against naked body scanners and TSA groping that was primarily spearheaded by the Drudge Report website, TSA chief John Pistole announced yesterday was looking at refining pat down procedures to make them “less intrusive.”
“Pistole said that the TSA will work “quickly” to determine whether there is a viable alternative but that he has no timetable,” reports the Washington Post today.
However, until such a time that the policy is changed, cases of rampant TSA abuse continue to occur, including a recent example where a young mother who was subjected to enhanced groping was subsequently locked inside a screening box for almost an hour by agents after she refused to allow them to put her breast milk through an x-ray device, a legitimate request that is even written into the TSA’s own guidelines.
Despite appearing to back down on hugely unpopular pat down measures, Pistole confirmed that every single passenger who flies in American skies is now checked against a government watch list before they are allowed to board a plane, meaning that every US citizen now requires de facto government permission to travel.
“The TSA began matching passengers against a watch list maintained by the FBI last year. By June, all passengers on domestic flights were being prescreened, and with Tuesday’s announcement, all international passengers headed to or from the United States are as well,” reports the Post.
Under the Secure Flight program, the TSA demands that passengers submit personal information 72 hours before being cleared to fly. While on the surface, this is justified by invoking the threat of terror, as we have seen from the MIAC report and others, the federal government now considers politically active Americans as potential terrorists, meaning that innocent travelers could find themselves on a watch list and barred from flying.
“By combining the requirement for government photo IDs in order to fly with checking government watchlists including potentially every passenger, “Secure Flight” puts the federal government into the business of licensing travel,” warns Michael Ostrolenk.
“What the government can allow one day, it can forbid the next. All things considered, isn’t this a higher-tech and later-day version of South African domestic passports or eastern European checkpoints? In fact, because of the high technological capacity of the U.S. version, aren’t its implications for travel control of plane, train, bus and subway travel much more far reaching? It’s incredible that something like this is happening relatively unrecognized in America.”
Indeed, the 9/11 Commission demanded that the dubious “no fly list” be extended to trains, boats and basically every form of travel, handing the feds the power to control the mobility of millions of Americans. Rahm Emanuel andMayor Michael Bloomberg have also demanded that people on the no fly list be prevented from purchasing firearms.
The no fly list is merely one component of a 500,000-750,000 strong government “watch list” that has ensnared people like the late former Senator Ted Kennedy, former presidential candidate John Anderson, and many others including a Vermont college student, a retired Presbyterian minister and an ACLU employee. People with similar names to aliases used by alleged terrorists are automatically put on no fly lists and federal watch lists.
Unfortunately, government watchlists seem to have been more successful at causing problems for innocent people than they are at catching terrorists. Despite the fact that underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on a watch list, the US State Department refused to revoke his visa and allowed him to board Delta Flight 253, with the aid of a well-dressed Indian man who convinced airline officials to let Abdulmutallab on the Christmas Day flight.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show. Watson has been interviewed by many publications and radio shows, including Vanity Fair and Coast to Coast AM, America’s most listened to late night talk show.